Before Georgia, It is Europe that Needs Mediation: Financial Times Deutschland
Everyone agrees that the Georgia-Russia crisis requires European mediation. But the question is, who’ll settle the dispute among Europeans about what to do?
As WORLDMEETS.US and The Moderate Voice readers have seen from around the continent over the past two weeks – Eastern and Central Europeans are completely split over what to do about the resurgent Russian bear.
“Europe wants to mediate, but it is so divided itself, that it too, requires mediation. … For Moscow, which is acting from a position of strength since its campaign, it will be easy to use this division for its own purposes. The Kremlin wants to expand its influence and to keep neighboring countries which that aspire to the West in a state of permanent instability. The E.U. has no interest in allowing this – but given the disharmony, they have little to oppose the Russians with. This war sends a very clear signal that together with the united States, it’s high time to restrict Russia’s sphere of influence. However, not all want to hear that signal.”
Translated By Julian Jacob
August 14, 2008
Germany – Financial Times Deutschland – Original Article (German)
Of all the images from the Georgia conflict zone, there is one that speaks particularly clearly. One of the demonstrators in Tbilisi is holding a poster showing Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, with a threatening extended index finger. And there are dates: Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968, Afghanistan 1979 – and Georgia 2008 [see below].
Historical analogies such as these of course serve to propagate the Georgian side of things. But what is critical is that here at least, those dates are understood by everyone and concern most people in East and Central Europe. Over there [in East Europe] at least since Putin, Russia is seen as a potential aggressor, and the Soviet tradition continues almost unabated. The Presidents of Poland, Ukraine and the three Baltic states, which on Wednesday met in Tbilisi, would have little to quibble with about that poster.
READ ON AT WORLDMEETS.US, along with continuing translated and and non-translated foreign press coverage of the unfolding crisis in the Caucusus.